Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – June 25, 2014
The wet weather over the past week included heavy downpours combined with wind and followed by fog. These conditions can lead to increased disease issues over the next week.
According to the Michigan State University Benton Harbor Enviro-weather station, the area received 3.15 inches of rain for the week. Temperatures were near normal with highs from 79 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and lows from 61 to 67 F. We are at 867 base 50 growing degree days (GDD), putting us 24 units behind 2013.
Field activities were stopped due to rains on June 23 and 24. Significant soil erosion also occurred in some fields. Over the past couple weeks we have had weather ranging from blowing soil to driving rains to dense fog. All these conditions can lead to the rapid spread and development of bacterial and fungal diseases. It is important that growers take steps to be sure their crops are adequately protected.
Pea harvest continues.
Harvest volume continues to increase from summer squash and zucchini. Cucumber harvest from tunnel-grown transplants has begun. Watermelon and cantaloupe transplants are runnering off the plastic. Growers need to protect these crops against powdery mildew to stop potential early infection.
Peppers are beginning to produce lateral shoots. Early planted, tunnel-grown tomatoes have 2.5-inch fruit. Staking and tying continues with some fields on their second string.
Sweet corn grown under row covers is close to or at pollination. Those not grown under cover are 30 inches tall and responding well to the warm temperatures and adequate soil moisture.
Early planted potatoes are sizing tubers and some are being harvested for local sales as creamers. All stages of Colorado potato beetle can be found and numbers seem to be greater than in recent years.
Cucumber beetles have increased over the week and aphid numbers have also increased over the past week.